Eleven years after Vincent van Gogh's death, the fellow artist who basically drove Vincent over the edge painted sunflowers on Vincent's behalf, supposedly. Maybe he honestly missed him, more likely he wanted to capture some of Vincent's intensity and drive, at least that's my admittedly limited impression of the man.
I don't care much for Gauguin, and even less of his art. To me he was a villain who took advantage of Theo's money and Vincent's naivete and desire for artistic fellowship. And no good man does that.
Anita Singh has an article in The Telegraph on Gauguin's Sunflowers, and the pretty penny they'll be fetching at auction.
Singh states that Vincent's drinking and instability led to the end of their friendship. Surely they were factors ... ones that Gauguin took advantage of. To boot, Gauguin had sizeable mental issues of his own after he left for the tropics. Difficult to believe they hadn't manifested earlier.
Below is Gauguin's painting, which is flat and lifeless compared to Vincent's, imo. See link and example below.